Press Archive


Wheeling News-Register - May 18, 2011

WEIRTON - Local residents were able to hear about some of the bills currently before Congress straight from one of the individuals elected to represent them in Washington, D.C.

Congressman David McKinley held a town hall meeting in Weirton's Millsop Community Center on Tuesday, hoping to discuss some of the legislation making its way through the halls of the U.S. Capitol, as well as to hear some of the residents' concerns.

 The Republican has hosted two previous town hall meetings within the 1st District. There also have been three telephone town halls, one of which the congressman said included 14,000 participants.

He said many issues have been brought up during those events, but he feels they all end up pointing back to one thing.

"It's all about jobs," McKinley said. "You can call it anything, it's all about jobs."

Whether people are talking about energy, the federal budget, taxes, regulations, federal spending or health care, McKinley said it all will affect jobs in some way.

In explaining the nation's deficit, he said he finds it helpful to compare the federal budget with that of a regular family. Instead of looking at the large numbers Congress deals with, he suggested thinking about bringing in $21,000 in revenue each year but having $37,000 in expenses. There is the option of using a credit card to cover the gap, he said of his comparison, but that has its own drawbacks.

"That card has a $140,000 debt on it, and your bank is in China," he said.

The U.S., he said, is borrowing $4.3 billion a day to help meet its expenses.

McKinley said one of the things he wants to do while in Congress is to find ways to erase uncertainties to improve the economy, and that includes finding better ways to reform health care and to get a better hold on the actions of government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. He said federal regulations, rising costs and other issues create uncertainties, which prevent businesses from wanting to make an investment.

"When businesses aren't certain what's going to happen, they pull back," McKinley said.

McKinley noted that has been a big problem in West Virginia, as legislation such as the defeated "cap and trade" bill and increased regulations from the EPA have convinced coal and other industries not to invest in the state and help to create jobs. Meanwhile, nations without those regulations are seeing job creation and growth all the time.